EU elections: Britons believe Brexit Party victory will alter course of Brexit

Matthew SmithHead of Data Journalism
May 21, 2019, 11:00 AM GMT+0

The most likely outcome at the EU Parliament vote is also the one which Britons expect would make the biggest difference

Paradoxically, for Britons, the EU Parliament election is both incredibly important and completely inconsequential.

The UK’s imminent withdrawal from the EU means that new MEPs ought to be out of a job pretty quickly. But the election has become a major battle in the war for and against Brexit.

So how does the public view it? We decided to ask what impact, if any, various outcomes at the EU Parliament elections would have on Brexit.

The outcome that Britons are most likely to see as having the greatest impact is also the one that’s most likely, according to current polling.

A majority of Britons (55%) believe that the Brexit Party performing well on 23 May would have a great/moderate impact on the Brexit process. With YouGov’s latest poll showing the Brexit Party on 35% of the vote and with a 19 percentage point lead over second-the placed Lib Dems, this outcome currently seems the most likely.

Should the anti-Brexit parties (Lib Dems, Greens and Change UK) perform well, 44% of Brits (the second highest figure) expect this to have a great/moderate impact on the Brexit process.

Britons are less likely to believe that a good performance by the Conservatives (38%) or Labour (34%) would have such a noticeable impact.

Britons are also about as likely to think that a bad performance by the Conservatives will have a great/moderate impact as a good one, at 36%. A bad haul for the Conservatives is also seen as more likely to have an impact on the Brexit process than a bad night for any of the other players: 30% say the same for the Brexit Party and 25% do for both Labour and the anti-Brexit parties.

Noticeably, while Leave voters are substantially more likely than Remain voters to think a Brexit Party victory would have a great/moderate impact on the Brexit process (68% versus 50%), all other outcomes they are less likely to see as a big deal, regardless of the scenario.

Photo: Getty

See the full results here

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